Danny Scarborough (1947-1989)

Danny Lyon Scarborough made his mark in the world in two arenas, as an innovative, Emmy Award-winning choreographer/dancer, and as one of the first well-known African Americans to go public about having AIDS.  Born on July 27, 1947, he grew up on a farm near Wake … Read MoreDanny Scarborough (1947-1989)

Thelma Beatrice Johnson Streat (1912-1959)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” African American artist and dancer Thelma Johnson Streat was born in Yakima, Washington on August 29, 1912, the second of Gertrude Beatrice Carson and James A. Johnson’s five children.  Streat’s artistic ability was evident at a young age.  She graduated from … Read MoreThelma Beatrice Johnson Streat (1912-1959)

Mabel Alice Wadham Mercer (1900-1984)

Mabel Mercer was one of the most important jazz cabaret singers of the 20th Century. Her personal singing style emphasizing interpretation, diction, lyrics, and projection over vocal proficiency influenced numerous leading singers including Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Rosemary … Read MoreMabel Alice Wadham Mercer (1900-1984)

Wanda Evans Coleman (1946-2013)

Image Ownership: Public Domain" Wanda Evans Coleman was an American poet and writer who won critical acclaim for her avant-garde work, but remained relatively unknown to a broader audience. Her 30 year literary career included a myriad of poetry and fiction publications. Born and raised … Read MoreWanda Evans Coleman (1946-2013)

Reggae Sunsplash (1978-1996)

Reggae Sunsplash Poster, 1979 “Image Ownership: Public Domain” Reggae Sunsplash, founded in 1978 to promote a slow summer tourist season in Jamaica, was the first Caribbean music festival to introduce reggae to a global audience. The idea of the festival originated with a group of … Read MoreReggae Sunsplash (1978-1996)

Geoffrey Lamont Holder (1930-2014)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Geoffrey Lamont Holder, acclaimed choreographer and legendary figure in the dance world, was also a respected actor, Tony Award-winning director, costume designer, singer, music composer, voice-over artist, orator, painter, sculptor, and photographer.  Holder was born to a middle-class family in Port … Read MoreGeoffrey Lamont Holder (1930-2014)

The Black Arts Movement (1965-1975)

Black Arts Movement Theatrical Performance The Black Arts Movement was the name given to a group of politically motivated black poets, artists, dramatists, musicians, and writers who emerged in the wake of the Black Power Movement. The poet Imamu Amiri Baraka is widely considered to … Read MoreThe Black Arts Movement (1965-1975)

SNCC Freedom Singers (1962-1966)

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Freedom Singers were a musical group primarily active between 1962 and 1966, singing “freedom songs” in order to fundraise and organize on behalf of SNCC. The Freedom Singers emerged out of the Albany Movement of 1962. After witnessing … Read MoreSNCC Freedom Singers (1962-1966)